Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tomatoes September Update

The weather is starting to turn cooler and we're still short on rainfall but my tomatoes keep on producing!

I have plenty of ripe ones.

Plenty of not-yet-ripe ones.

And this is today's harvest (sorry for the wonky color - I'm taking a Photoshop class this winter that I hope will mean better quality pictures on this blog next summer). I'm only harvesting once or twice a week but I'm getting about this much each time. Plenty to eat and plenty to freeze. This doesn't include all of the small tomatoes that I munch on while in the garden, is there anything better than working in the garden and wandering over to the veggie bed for a quick snack? Mmmmm.....

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mystery Houseplant

I spotted this cute little thing at a big box retailer recently. It cost a whopping $2.98. How could I resist?

I didn't know what it was but I can usually find these things out with a little Google-foo.

Not this time. I found the supplier's website and it's not pictured there. Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

End of the Season

Summer is definitely over here in New England. The season of leaving windows open all day and night, working in the garden and, for me, not having to go to work.

That's over.

Classes at my college started two weeks ago (can you tell? I'm not posting nearly as frequently) and I'm hip deep in class prep and grading (my to be graded pile is already several inches high. Groan. I never seem to catch up on that until the end of the semester).

In addition to my summer vacation ending it's also the end of summer vacation for my houseplants. It's starting to get into the 50s and occasionally into the 40s at night so inside they come.

Some of my houseplants getting ready for their end of the summer showers and the frantic oh-crap-I-put-something-else-in-their-spot craziness.

They all enjoyed their summer outside, putting on growth spurts and even blooming!

This Calathea looked pretty bad in the spring. I put it outside to forget about it but it responded "I'm not dead yet!"
It's so gorgeous right now I hope I can keep it alive all winter.

Now to make sure I didn't bring any visitors inside with them and to find them a place to spend the winter.

I'm so happy with how well they all did that I think I'll move even more outside next summer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day Sept. 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day snuck up on me this month so all of these pictures were taken early this morning, before I left for work. At least you know I'm being honest about what's blooming in my garden today ;)!

This time of year my garden is winding down. I have a few plants that flower specifically in the fall but I'm mostly dependent on long-term bloomers, annuals and pots. First up: the new bloomers.

OK, so Aster (Symphotrichium?) oblongifolium 'October Skies' is not quite blooming yet. It's just starting but once it gets going it will be COVERED in blooms for over a month. 

Last fall I planted this Clematis terniflora Sweet Autumn Clematis along the chain link portion of our fence. I wasn't sure how it would do since I bought it on sale and got it in the ground late. It survived. I bet it will be really showy next fall.

My last fall specific bloomer is already fading -  Allium tuberosum or garlic chives. This one has a wasp who spent the night still on the bloom. It's so cold this morning that I could probably safely pet her, but I restrained myself.

Next up are my long-term bloomers. These are plants that have bloomed since at least mid-summer and are still going.

Gaura. This starts blooming pretty early and goes until frost.

Scabiosa. An under utilized small perennial that blooms from spring through frost. It is a short lived plant and, in my garden, tends to get overgrown by more aggressive plants but what a bloom period!

This Rudbeckia fulgida, black eyed susan, is still going strong. It's new to my garden this year. I know these can be very aggressive but it's planted in the back yard so it has to be tough to survive the abuse of dogs running straight through it and digging around the roots.

Another very long term bloomer is Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low.' It seemed to take a break between early blooming and now but it's doing pretty good.

Both of my Hydrangea  bushes are starting to fade.  Hydrangea paniculata iforgotus on top and the lacecap Lady in Red (maybe) on bottom.

Re-blooms on one of my Heucheras.

A volunteer Agastache.

Late planted Lavender hidcote.

Wow I really do have a lot more blooming than I realized... That means I can save the photos of annuals and potted plants for another post!

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams for this meme and for helping me realize that my garden isn't as done  for the year as I thought.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Late Summer Planting

I learned to garden in The South where right now is a great time to plant. The hardest season for most plants down there is summer (especially August which tends to be hot and dry except when tropical storms come around) so planting right after summer gives them the most time to get established before things get rough.

Not so up here in New England. Up here the hardest season is definitely winter. Summers are fabulous, with only a few hot days, and we (usually) get plenty of rainfall during the growing season. So up here planting in the late summer and fall is risky and spring is the best time to add plants to the garden.

Still. I can't resist one last chance to make additions to the garden.

Plus, everything is ON SALE right now (correspondingly, selection is low).

Here are my new additions. May they all survive the winter.

Hakonechloa macra All Gold, which looks great against my jumbo sized pot

Hibiscus Kopper King (a HARDY Hibiscus) Love those leaves

Lavender hidcote - planted two of these in August in the Hell Strip. Plenty of sun and a little dry.

Andropogon (or Schizachyrium) scoparium The Blues. I really like the fall color against the color of the house. Looking back we should have changed the color of the house when we had it painted so that my green plants showed up better....

And lastly, I replaced the worn out Petunias who were against the fireplace all summer with some Pansies. Pansies are pretty cold hardy but tend to die during the heat of the summer so hopefully these will bloom all fall and still be alive when the snow melts to start blooming early in the spring.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Here's your Monday morning encouragement. If plants can grow on the flat roof (NOT designed as a green roof) of this apartment building entrance you can get through a Monday.

Biology will always find a way. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sleepy Bees

In late summer the number of pollinators in my garden grows exponentially. As we start to get cool mornings I often find bees tucked under leaves and flowers, sleeping until it's warm enough to be active.

Disturbingly I have a song about it. It's to the tune of Daydream Believer by the Monkees.

Wake up sleepy bee

It's that time of day

To-o pollinate flowers and gather nectar.

Of course I only "wrote" the chorus [aren't you glad?]

Oh and this skipper (butterfly) was asleep, too. They move so fast when they're awake that I seldom get photos of them.